How to Put Line on a Spinning Reel

Spinning reels have proudly preserved their proclaimed spot as the world’s most famous and most used fishing reels. That’s courtesy of their simplicity and universality. As a matter of fact, a veteran angler can use a spinning reel just as easily as a beginner, and spooling them is no trouble whatsoever. Today, we’ll walk you through this process so that it doesn’t take you more than ten minutes.

Choose Your Line

Our first step will have to be choosing the proper line for your use and your reel. Why? Because some spinning reels are designed to support specific lines, while others aren’t. To be more precise, some reels come braid-ready, which means they can support braided lines without any backing, while others don’t; hence, need backing with monofilament or fluorocarbon.

Also, there’s the pound test, which you can’t go above or below; otherwise, you’ll be risking the stability of your casts and retrievals due to the constant formation of knots and twists. So, let’s go over the types of lines quickly so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.


The different types of fishing lines are simply their evolution throughout the years. Every now and then, manufacturers would try to improve on the existing line and develop a new variety.

This has worked great for anglers, as now they have a great spectrum to choose from. Let’s start at the very beginning, with the first fishing line; monofilament.


Monofilament lines can be used on all fishing reels, specifically for beginners. They’re cheap, recyclable, come in a variety of colors, and are always available, which has kept them at the top of this hierarchy since their debut back in the 30s.

Monofilament has a lot of stretch to it and buoyancy, which means that it can take quite a few shocks, and survive. However, accuracy isn’t its strongest feature. It’s also not the strongest of lines, which is OK since replacing is pretty affordable.

Just don’t use it for any deep water fishing. Besides, since it’s made out of nylon, it has little memory, yet it is still there.


Our next stage is the copolymer, simply a few different varieties of nylon woven together. This makes the line way more expensive than monofilament ever could be. But, it has even less memory, more strength, more shock resistance, and less buoyancy; hence, this one can actually be used for deepwater fishing.


Fluorocarbon line is all about sensitivity. It’s a single line filament; yet, it’s much stronger than both monofilament and copolymer, more abrasion resistant, and it sinks faster. Subsequently, it’s excellent for techniques that require more precision, such as dropshots.

Nonetheless, we do have a few problems with fluorocarbon. Primarily, its high memory, therefore, its susceptibility to knots and twists the moment it leaves the spool. However, fluorocarbon is practically invisible, which is a great advantage underwater.


We’re down to our last contestant and hands-down the strongest, braided line. It’s made out of polyethylene varieties such as Dyneema, Dacron, and Spectra, and it  can be made out of 4 to 16 strands of these materials.

This makes it highly abrasion-resistant while removing any traces of memory or stretch; hence, it’s a very robust line. Braided lines can go toe to toe with the strongest fish. Unfortunately, it’s non-recyclable.

Braided lines rarely form birds’ nests, but it’s a nightmare for the angler when they do. More often than not, you’ll just have to cut the whole knot off to spare yourself the torture of dealing with it. 

Since the line is solid and sharp, it’s great to use in areas of poor visibility due to vegetation. You see, a braided line will cut through all of that and reach its target without getting caught up in the mess.

Pound Test

Pound test is exactly what the words imply. Every line is tested for the number of pounds that it can hold before snapping on the angler. If the line says that its pound test is 45 pounds, it can hold a prey of 45 pounds.

Can it go up to 50 pounds? Maybe, but we can’t guarantee that. So, it’s always much safer to stay within the limits of the pound test.

Spinning Reel Spooling Guide

Now, let’s get to the actual steps that you’ll go through when spooling your spinning reel. Keep in mind that even for a beginner, this isn’t supposed to take more than 10-15 minutes max. 

1. Lay Your Spool Flat on the Ground With the Label Facing Up

This is a vital part, and if you do it correctly, you’ll be starting on the right footing. When you place the spool label up, the line coming out will be unspooling counterclockwise, which means that as it goes into the spool of your reel, it‘ll be going clockwise; hence, you won’t be changing the direction of the line.

This is essentially important if you’re spooling a line with even little memory. PS: if you’re spooling fluorocarbon, which has high memory, after you’re done for the whole procedure, bring a cup of warm water, just tap water, not boiling.

Then, unscrew the drag system to release the entire spool. Ensure that the washers are still in place and that you don’t lose any of them. Next, place the spool, with the line on it, in the cup of warm water for 5-10 minutes. That ought to erase the previous memory and have your line casting smoothly.

2. Open Your Bail

We had to include this step because you have no idea how many fishers, even veterans, forget to open the bail. Then, they have to unwind their line and do the whole thing from the beginning again.

3. Thread the Line Through, either Only the Last Eye on Your Rod, or All of Them 

We prefer that you, for the moment, thread your line through the last ring only. This will keep the mess in check and help you keep the line as tight and close to the shaft and the spool as possible.

4. Hook Your Line to the Spool by Tying an Overhand Knot 

Some anglers will argue that you have to use an arbor knot to hold the line in place; yet, an overhand knot works just fine. If you want to go the extra mile, you can take the tag off your spool, cut a small piece, and place it flat on the knot to not have it intervene with the rest of the line or the backing.

5. Close Your Bail 

Again, don’t forget to close your bail before you proceed with any other steps.

6. Using Your Index Finger Pinch the Line Against the Rod 

Just like threading the line through the last ring, pinching it to the rod shaft helps keep the line extra taught.

Additionally, it helps you keep an eye out for any knots or tangles. This way, you’ll be more connected with the line as you spool it.

7. Start Reeling 

It’s finally time to start reeling in your line. The most important thing is not to go too fast. Plus, every 10-20 cranks of your handle, take a good look at your spool and make sure that everything is laying properly without any twisting.

If you’re faced with any mishaps, unwind the line, and start again from that point. Plus, maybe take the speed down a notch or two.

8. Stop Reeling When You Have Around 1/6 to 1/8 of the Reel Spool Empty 

You have to give some space for your line to move freely. Nevertheless, be careful of under-spooling because that will have your line become way too loose. Loose line is the perfect ground for knots and birds’ nests.

On the other side, you have to also steer clear from over-spooling as that will suffocate your line, prohibiting it from leaving the spool smoothly.

9. Thread Your Line Through the Rest of the Guides/Rings 

10. Cut Your Line Using Line Clippers 

11. Hook Your Lure

Tools to Help You Spool Your Spinning Reel Efficiently

The fishing industry is in constant progress, and every day manufacturers are trying to make it much easier for anglers to pursue their favorite hobbies. As a result, several companies have invented a few tools that would help fishers spool, not just spinning reels but all types of reels.

This leads us to Spoolers and Spooling Stations, which kind of take most of the work off of the fishers’ backs. For instance, the Berkeley Portable Fishing Line Spooling Station. Similar to it is the Piscifun Fishing Line Winder Spooling Station, and we also have the Piscifun EZ Fishing Line Spooler.


To summarize, in order to spool your line efficiently, you need to know the type of line you have, the type of reel you have, and take your time with every step. Plus, don’t forget to watch out for knots and twists.

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